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How To Sponsor A Club Film

written by

Mark Stapleton

Last updated August 31, 2002
by: Robert Healey
  1. Getting Started
  2. The Lottery
  3. The Movie is Scheduled
  4. The Contract
  5. Running the Movie
  6. Submit a Request

Getting Started

  1. When do we get started?

As soon as you can. Either you will get a notice in the club mailbox in the Union, or you will be contacted directly from the Saturday Night Coordinator (SNC). Usually the notices in the mailbox goes out the semester before the scheduled semester. For example, if this is the Fall 96 semester, we would have sent a notice out a month or two before the end of the Spring 96 semester ended.

If you did not get a notice, then the SNC may have attempted to contact you directly by either 1) finding out who is in charge through the Administration’s Office list, or 2) sending a member, officer, or friend of the aforesaid electronic mail, or lastly 3) calling any of these people on the phone. In practice, the SNC usually doesn't take the time to hunt down the clubs.


  1. How do I get started?

If you have been contacted, or even if you have not, the first step its to submit a list of five to ten movies to the SNC. Please rank them in preference in a descending order. It would also help to tell us around which Saturdays you’ll want to show this film. Usually it is nearly impossible to negotiate that with the distributor, but at least indicate which half of the semester you’d like to do it in. Also bear in mind that the Friday Night Film Series will take all the "blockbusters" - usually - not always though. The Midweek Film Series will attempt to schedule films that are more "culturally enriching," but they have been to known to do popular films as well.

If you feel that you MUST have a new film that has come out, you need to negotiate this with the SNC and the president of UPAC BEFORE the movie schedule has been set.The schedule is made towards the end of the previous semester.


  1. Who Do I contact?

The person to contact is the Saturday Night Coordinator, or SNC for short. This person can be contacted via electronic mail at upac-cinema@union.rpi.edu. This address is a mail alias to all the coordinators and the president of UPAC Cinema. If you get no response, you may feel free to leave us a message at our office number - 276-8585; or continue to spam that electronic mail address.


  1. What if the movies have been scheduled already? Can I still participate?

Yes. Well, usually. If all the Saturday slots have not been taken, you can negotiate with the SNC to obtain a scheduled movie.


The Lottery

After the SNC has received the movie ideas via electronic mail, he will hold a lottery where he picks which ranks the clubs in preference to be scheduled. The exact date of this drawing will be posted on the notice that goes out to the clubs. If your club has already shown a movie in the current semester of the drawing, preference is given to those who have not participated yet.

After the lottery you might be given a letter that indicates that you were given preference and that we’re trying to schedule your movie, otherwise it’ll say that we can’t show your requests. If you are not scheduled, DO NOT give up! There are good chances you can show another scheduled movie that another club doesn’t want or can't do. The memo that tells you that you’ve got the reservation looks something like this:

Dear The Ballroom Dancing Club,

I am happy to inform you that your club has been selected to show a movie with us for Saturday films in this semester. At this time we are in negotiations with the distributor as to the exact date of this showing. Once this date has been agreed upon by us (UPAC Cinema and the distributor), we will then contact you with the details.

Please also bear in mind that you can read the contract available from our homepage to see our terms and conditions. This memo to you DOES NOT constitute a signed contract between you, the club, and us, UPAC Cinema.

Thank you for your time and efforts.

Joshua Ashby,
Saturday Night Coordinator - UPAC Cinema

The Movie is Scheduled

Once the date has been settled upon between UPAC and the distributor, we will attempt to contact all the clubs and tell them that their films have been scheduled. At this point a decent amount of time has passed and the request for a movie by a club, and the name associated with that request my have been lost in the shuffle. This is why it is important that if you’re doing a movie with UPAC Cinema, you should FOLLOW UP with us to make sure that we’ve not lost track of you. You should then receive mail to the effect that we either have scheduled one of the movies, or were not able to schedule anything for you. Here is a memo that exemplifies a positive response:

Dear Gymnastics Club,

I am happy to inform you that your request to show "Addicted to Love" has been decided to be honored. UPAC Cinema has negotiated with the distributor for the date of February 21th, 1998. This is a Saturday, and the show times will be 7pm, 9:30pm. and midnight. If this seems acceptable to you, then you need to take the next step. If for any reason you no longer wish to show this movie, please notify me so that we may make this movie available for someone else to show.

What is the next step? The contact for your club or the person in your club that is responsible for the club needs to get a copy of the contract and fill it out. A link can be found at directly at http://cinema.union.rpi.edu/contract.pdf. Print this out and complete it.

If you are a union sponsored club, then you want the 50/50 option. This basically allows you to take 50% of the profits after overage and expenses and we assume all the risk. If you think you'll do better with the Full option then you may choose to do it, but this option makes you assume ALL of the risk, and you must post $1000.00 in your account to do it. However, you get ALL the profits after overage and expenses. You also PAY US for ALL LOSSES if there are any.

You need to read the contract, in full, and sign it to the effect that you understand it. Should you have any questions about it, please feel free to call me (276 8585). There is no "Option A", and the cartoons are not available as a matter of choice, if we have them, we will show them. Just put the title of the film in the "Film Title" line, and you can leave the others blank.

Once you have read the contract and completed it, you need to get it to me. At this point you should contact me so that I can get it, review it, and go over what you need to get ready for the Saturday Film.

Well, welcome to another glorious semester at RPI!

Joshua Ashby,
Saturday Night Coordinator - UPAC Cinema

The Contract

As you can see from the memo, once you’ve been selected to show a movie and it is scheduled, you need to fill out a contract and give it to the SNC before a movie starts. The contract is a binding document between the Club and UPAC Cinema to ensure that all parties have been treated fairly and both understand what they agree to when a movie is "sponsored" by a club. It is very important that you read this contract and sign it to the effect that you understand it. It is especially important if you’re doing a "Full" contract that you understand that it is possible that you can lose you’re $1000.00 that you’re posting in your account.

The contract can be found in two places:

  1. Off the cinema web page: http://cinema.union.rpi.edu/contract.pdf
  2. At the UPAC Office in Room 3802 at the Union

You need to sign the contract and turn it in to the SNC at least a week before the scheduled date of the film. The sooner the better since it makes for less stress for the SNC. If you have any questions or special cases, we can work things out with you. Just contact us at the electronic mail or phone number should you need to.


Running the Movie

The night of the movie, you'll need to have six members of your club there at all times (according to the contract). These people do not need to be the same six people all night, but at least six people at any given time. We usually split it up this way:

It is your group's responsibility to clean the theater after every show, please make sure that there are enough hands to do this after the movie ends.

Concessions - You have the option of selling your own concessions during the movie. You need to tell us (the SNC) if you are going to since we will need to prepare ahead of time if you are. If you do not want to sell concessions, you may have UPAC Cinema sell theirs, however you do NOT get the profits from these sales, nor do you get any "discount." If you sell your concessions, UPAC members do NOT get their discount on your items. Whoever buys the candy needs to tel the SNC if the club expects UPAC Cinema to buy back the concessions. If you do, you must abide by some guidelines. UAPC-CINEMA IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO BUY BACK ANY CONCESSIONS FROM THE CLUB. We ask that you follow these guidelines so that we can facilitate your request to buy your concessions back. There are only two: don't buy more than $125.00 worth of food, and don't pay taxes! On many occasions I have seen the profits of a club been wiped out because they've paid taxes. You can get a "no-tax" code from the Administration office, and then find someone willing to take you to the store. Ideally if you know someone who has a Sam's Club or BJ's membership, corner them to take you.

Lastly, keep you receipt! We will be unable to buy you concessions back from you if we don't know how much you paid for them. We usually count what is left over, take that percentage of what is left and apply it to the receipt to get a number.

Concessions Suggestions: We have gotten these in the past and they sell (from fastest to slowest): Kit Kat, M+M plain & peanut, Snickers, Combos, Crunch, Twix Butterfinger, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Baby Ruth, Mounds, Starburst.
For sodas: Coke and Pepsi of course, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, 7up, Minute Maid Orange, Canada Dry, Snapple Iced tea, AZ Iced tea, and Veryfine Juices.

Alcohol - Yeah I know it stinks, but we can't let anyone in with alcohol. They can reek of high heaven of it, but no alcohol out side of the body in any container. We are obligated by the institute to follow up on this. If you have belligerent customers, please get the SNC, or another UPAC person to help you before any more confrontation.

Selling tickets - Before you sell any tickets you will need to fill out a "ticket sales" sheet for accounting purposes. The coordinator on duty that night will give you one and show you how to do this. DO NOT SELL ANY TICKETS prior to completing this sheet. We calculate your profit from these numbers, so it is imperative that you fill it out.

While you are selling tickets, you may be approached by another general UPAC Cinema member. He or she will need to announce their name and tell you which team they're on. You then need to check with the coordinator to make sure that this checks out before you give them their free ticket.

Generally we say kiddies get in for free, and we say 10-12 is the cut off year of age for that. You can negotiate that number with the SNC if you wish to change it.

Ripping Tickets - Please make sure that the people who are ripping tickets at the door rip everyone's ticket and keep the stubs. We do NOT throw the extra stubs in the trash, we keep them. Please be aware of this.

Letting People In: - Please do not let people in until you get authorization from the SNC, or the projectionist. We (UPAC) has to make sure the quality of the film and equipment is ready. This may requre us to run some test film or such activities, and we do not want people in the theater when this happens. So, again, DO NOT let people in until a UPAC coordinator or projectionist indicates that the theater is ready.


Submit a Request

Fill out this form. An email containing your request information will be sent to the UPAC Cinema Officers.

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